This week, I got exceptionally good at shoving an icepack down my pants. I ran some pathetic miles, biked some pathetic miles, swam some pathetic…mile. For running and biking, I’ve read that it’s valuable to push through the pathetic miles: you’re teaching yourself how to perform when you’re tired. For swimming, though, at least for me…all I’m really doing is teaching myself how to do it wrong.1
That 1 mile run was around my apartment complex, trying to figure out if I was being lazy or if I was actually in the bad kind of pain. Decided it was pain. It’s a good thing MRIs are really scary or I would just continue to do stupid things.
Anyway, now I am starting to get why this kind of training is difficult and strategic. Because, it’s not like I’m reserving fatigue in different zones. I have no idea why I thought humans would work like that. That makes zero sense. Running when tired makes me a more tired swimmer, obviously. And that is becoming kind of a problem, now that I can actually swim at different paces, rather than just thanking the good lord I didn’t drown halfway across the pool.
I have a few ideas for what I want to do differently next week. I think for one, I need to stop doing one psychotically long workout and break it into two chunks like the stupid book told me to do. Also, one thing I’ve been vaguely aware of but ignoring is that I like to do everything as hard as I can, as long as I can, and then quit. Not good. I got away with it for a long time, but now that I’ve managed to fuck up every moving part on my right side, I’m trying to be a little more intentional. If I’m limiting the number of hours I’m spending on this, I should try to do the right things with those hours, in the right zones. And sometimes, that will annoyingly mean running agonizingly slow easy miles.
I am aware that I would probably be faster at these races with a coach, or a training plan designed by one, at least. But I kind of like the science experiment aspect of it. This week I got really into looking at Cody Beals’ training blog posts both for me and for book research.2 And this haphazard research is requiring me to discover things myself that are feeding into the fiction I’m writing, and that has value too. Like googling, “fingers turn yellow when running.”
Anyway, kind of a crummy week, but at least I feel ready for the next one!
This Week’s Training Was Brought To You By…
Outlander: Don’t you judge me! I’m judging me enough for all of us. Good god this book is long.